Cablegate: Dhaka Grants Country Clearance to Marc Alain


DE RUEHKA #4409/01 1990954
P 180954Z JUL 06





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Embassy Dhaka welcomes and grants country clearance for
Marc Alain Widdowson, Medical Epidemiologist, NCID, HHS/CED
on his July 21-26 visit. Control officer is Dr. Steve Luby,
Head, Programme of Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Sciences,
ICDDR, B; TEL: (mobile) 88-01711-593-416, (home)

2. Per reftel, traveler has made arrangements at the Hotel
Lake Castle. The Mission,s workweek is Sunday-Thursday from
0800 to 1630 hours. There will be an American holiday during
the visit period-Memorial Day, May 28.

3. Medical unit services will be available, per reftel
request. No other embassy services have been requested.

4. Please note the following:

A) IMPORTANT. Personnel entering Bangladesh are required
to possess a valid passport, with a minimum validity of six
months. A valid visa is also required prior to arrival.

B) Departure: All personnel (including holders of
diplomatic and official passports) are urged to use the
services of the U.S. Mission,s travel agent for reconfirming
onward travel and to verify if the departure tax of 300 taka
300 (approximately USD 5) and the travel tax (approximately
2500 taka) have been included in the cost of the ticket. If
not included, travelers must pay in taka at the airport.

C) Currency: The local use of U.S. dollars is prohibited
by law, except for the payment of a hotel bill.
Accommodation exchange for incidental local expenses is
available at the Chancery. Reverse accommodation exchange is
available only at the original place of exchange with
original documents and receipts as proof. Automatic Teller
Machines (ATMs) are very limited, not readily accessible, and
dispense taka only. Traveler checks cannot be used in most
establishments except international hotels. Most major
credit cards are accepted at international hotels.

D) American Recreation Association (Embassy club)
facilities are available to U.S. citizen official visitors
for a temporary membership fee of USD 10.00 per week. In
addition to the membership fee, you will be required to
purchase a cash card. A copy of your passport data page or a
passport-sized photograph is necessary to obtain a cash card.
This card will enable you to have meals and use club
facilities (which include tennis court, squash court,
swimming pool, exercise room, and restaurant/bar.)

E) The U.S. Commissary facility is available to U.S. citizen
official visitors who are USG employees. However, payment is
permitted only by USD personal check or traveler checks.

F) Health: All travelers must have health insurance to cover
medical evacuations by air ambulance, and should carry with
them the 24/7 contact information for their insurer. Medical
care in Bangladesh is very basic.

Intestinal problems are common in Dhaka. Visitors must
exercise care in what they eat and drink. Presume that all
tap water is contaminated, even in hotels. Travelers are
advised to drink bottled/boiled water and eat only fruits and
vegetables that have been cooked and peeled. Undercooked
meat should be avoided. Travelers should also avoid eating
uncooked dairy products and food sold on the streets.
Visitors who take medication on a regular basis should bring
enough for the duration of their visit.

The U.S. Mission has a Medical Unit staffed by a U.S.
physician and registered nurses. Visitors should bring a
supply of mosquito repellent to Dhaka. There have been cases
of mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue fever, which is
transmitted by a day-biting mosquito. Supplies are usually
available in the commissary; however, you should bring your
own supply in case you arrive in Dhaka when the commissary is
closed (on Sunday). We also recommend that travelers have
updated immunizations, especially for typhoid.

G) Security: Bangladesh continues to experience some
anti-American sentiment as the result of U.S. military and
other actions in the war against terrorism and events in the
Middle East. Demonstrations have the potential to take place
any time and to be unruly. In addition, longstanding rivalry
between the two leading political parties prompt periodic
general strikes (hartals), public demonstrations, and
marches. Normal vehicular traffic is discouraged during the
hartals. Visitors should strictly avoid all political
protests, demonstrations and marches.

With the prior approval of the RSO, visitors may carry an
unclassified laptop into the Controlled Access Area provided

the laptop is transported under the immediate personal
control of the visitor or via diplomatic pouch.

The Embassy advises Americans to be aware of their
surroundings at all times, to avoid predictable behavior, and
not to accept packages from unknown individuals. Sensitive
or personal matters should not be discussed over local
telephone lines.

The State Department classifies the crime threat in Dhaka as
high. While foreigners are not generally the targets of
violent crimes, pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and other
forms of street crime occur frequently, especially in areas
frequented by foreigners. Visitors should avoid walking
alone after dark, carrying large sums of money, or wearing
expensive jewelry. Valuables should be stored in the hotel
safety deposit box and should not be left unattended in hotel
rooms. Visitors should use the Embassy Motor pool as the
Chief of Mission has declared public transportation to be
unsafe. In addition, you should keep the Embassy,s 24-hour
emergency telephone number available at all times (885-5500);
receptionists are on duty 24 hours a day.

5. We look forward to your visit.

© Scoop Media

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